Longshot Derf's Secret Alt | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
132 Reviews
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Longshot Derf's Secret AltLongshot Derf's Secret Alt

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AmericanGothic on 03-16-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 261
Photo of fank2788
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Dark slightly murky brown with a very sticky off white head in the glass. Sweet bread and brown sugar smell with a touch of citrus hops and a bit of a boozy character. The taste is very sweet upfront. Molasses, dark bready malt, brown sugar and alcohol are all evident in the taste. The alcohol definitely carries throughout this one and leaves a hot finish. Carbonation is lively but there is just too much unrestrained alcohol in this one, the whole second half of the sip is dominated by drying, stinging booze character that is a bit over the top. Overall I cant rate this very high it's just a bit too unbalanced. It would be ok for this beer to be so strong if only it was better masked by some real malt or hop character. Not one of my favorites but cheers to Fred on his Longshot win.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle with Aug best by date poured into pint.

A: Dark, but clear, brown with a one finger tan head that keeps up most awhile.

S: Nose is mostly dark esters and caramel.

T: It's big...it's sweet...and it's alcoholic. It's a huge malt bomb that onslaughts the taste buds with caramel, plum, and pineapple nut bread. There is the slightest hint of hops on the back end to help battle the almost cloying sweetness.

M: Appropriately thick and creamy. Goes down easy enough, though. There is a hint of alcohol in the taste, but not bad for over 9%.

O: For a homebrewer, this is a highly complex and intricate brew. It's big, but not TOO unbalanced. I think a bit more of a hop bite would do wonders here. I don't know whether or not this guy will ever read this, but I think a nice dose of Saaz would be sublime.

Still very, very good, though. Kudos.

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Photo of ToddT
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear deep amber with some ruby highlights and a good sized off white head. Head fades slowly and leaves some spotty lace on the glass.

S- Roasted malts, caramel, toffee, and hints of candied plums.

T- Bready notes of roasted malt, caramel sweetness, candied sugar, and a slightly medicinal aftertast at the finish. The finish is dry with some alcohol heat.

M- More that medium but not quite full bodied, carbonation is medium. Some sugars begin to build up on the palate as it warms and the medicinal notes at the finish become slightly off putting.

O- Could use a few tweaks here and there, a little too sweet and there are some out of balance hop notes in it, but it is a good attempt and a not often represented style. The 9.3% ABV shows up at the finish too, some barrel aging or just cellaring this for a short time might tame some of this.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is dark amber in color with an off-white head. Toasted malt with a surprising hoppiness, mostly citrus peel. There’s a nice sweetness to the nose and quite a bit of white grape, which I seem to get in most alts. Some caramel and toffee maltiness, maybe a bit of chocolate, too. The flavor is a bit boozy, unfortunately. Some citrus hop flavor, a lot of toasted malt, white grape, and toffee sweetness are also present. The booze really lasts throughout the entire sip.

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Photo of tophers
3.27/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very pleasant aroma...sweet, bready.

Taste is toasty with a significant amount of melanodins. Don't taste much of any hop flavor or bitterness. Strong alcohol profile and even more noticeable in the aftertaste.

Medium-heavy body with moderate amount of carbonation.

This beer was just to overwhelmingly alcoholic in taste for me.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - garnet amber hazy with 1 finger khaki bubbly head with moderate retention and good lacing

S - sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, a lot of booze

T - sweeter than maple syrup, this caramel sweetness hit you hard and lasts till the break of dawn. The caramel and molasses malts dominate and never seem to diminish. The dark fruits and citrus hop notes chime in ever so briefly and are overwhelmed by brash warming booze that almost ruin the experience rather than complementing it. Great effort with malt however.

M - medium light body with low carbonation and a ton of warming etoh. Sticky.

O - tastes like a barley wine but has the embodiement of caramel malt all the way. A good spring and winter beer or a dessert brew.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.92/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Loved this beer. Derf is a great beer with an awesome name to it. Taste very strong.Smells like heaven mouthful is the same as taste and appearance not to thick. Poured this beer into a pint glass which has been very trusty to me the since i started reviewing at this site

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Photo of beagle75
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, dark amber color with one finger of diminishing parchment-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Heavy caramel and spirituous dark fruit dominate. Booziness becomes more obvious as the beer warms.

T: Begins sweet, with intense dark fruit and bready Munich malt. Acidity is mild but distinctly citric into the middle where malt becomes more roasted. The finish is very spirituous and fruity, remaining sweet throughout.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: A strong ale to rival Belgian quads and English barleywines; this alt is a very big beer with an origin grounded in experimentation. Flavors are focused and they resonate well on the palate. The only limiting feature of this beer's appeal is its over-9% abv. All sides considered, this one is good enough and strong enough to see the inside of a barrel.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

A- Deep garnet/brown with a nice two-finger high head of light tan foam, finely carbonated.

S- Malty and lightly spicy in the nose. Bready malt aromas too...smells great.

T- Fruity and nicely hoppy flavors, nice mingling of the sweet/bitter components...pleasant hop finish.

M- This is a heavyweight for sure, with all that malt packed in it it's very full-bodied. The soft carbonation reinforces that.

O- I'm really liking this one, great complexity in the flavor and I love the body of this one.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep mahogany/ruby red with a thick three finger head that lingers and hangs onto the sides of the glass as it dissapates. Great clarity for a beer this dark.

S- Dark amber honey... Smith Bros. Honey cough drops, licorice, sweet malt, caramel/cinnamon buns, sour cherry, some spicy pepper notes and some banana yeastiness. Really cool with amazing depth!

T- Thick, rich and sweet honey. Lots of malt sweetness, tons of licorice, dried cherries, Really nice caramel, toffee and honey cough drops. Nice bready yeast notes. No real trace of hops, but this is all about the malt bill.

M- Thick and sticky. The alcohol hides nicely behind the caramel and honey sweetness. Not much in the way of pop on the tongue... it just kind of glides and surrounds the mouth in sugary sweetness.

O- This one is all about the sweetness and honey! Note an everyday drinker, but really glad I finally tried it. Really amazing depth... with each breath, you pick up something different in the backround.

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Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Clear and bright tawny hue, ample suds

SMELL: Brown bread, leafy, dried plums, alcohol, faintly peppery, earthy, toast, grassy

TASTE: Sweet, slightly thick, bready, toasty, treacle, sharp alcohol, warming, mild twang, floral, dried grassy finish

Decent Double Altbier, I had expected this beer to open up a bit more. Sweetness was a bit much, after taste fades pretty quick. Worth a shot.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a very dark cherry red, albeit rather clear. The head is two fingers and tan, and fades quickly

S- nice roasted malt aroma...caramel sweetness also comes through

T- overly, OVERLY sweet. The caramel taste is overbearing. There's a faint taste of alcohol in the back-end as well

M- body actually seems very thin. Huh.

O- looks nice...smells nice...but the taste is way too over the top. It's just too much

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Photo of rodney45
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark hardwood coloring with a large and long lasting head that is a cinnamon infused whip cream color.

S: Big malty aroma, slight hints of vanilla, Munich and crystal malt.

T: Sweet up front with a touch of cocoa, vanilla, walnut and nutmeg. Secondary profile is all crystal malt, with undercurrents of plum and coriander. It has a non dry finish with faint wisps of coffee and light noble hops.

Ml: Very creamy and smooth. Low bitterness and low carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this altbier, it reminded me of a strong ale, or a Belgian quad. This was quite a beer, and was on tier with any European dopple ive tried in a while. Good attempt by BBC and their longshot winner.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

A firm pour yields just a faint ring of foam. Dark brown in color. Aroma is very malty, sweet, with toffee undertone, and a hint of sour apple fruitiness.

First sip is tremendously viscous, with a syrupy sweetness. This is a huge malt bomb, for sure. Bitterness is present, but any real hop flavors take a back seat to the huge body of this beer. I still pick up some apple-like flavors, along with molassas and maple.

I think this is another quality beer from the Longshot line. You really have to been in the mood for a big, sweet, beer such as this, but it is done very nicely.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a very dark alt, with with a bit of a reddish-gold tint when held to the light. Nose is unusually fruity, with ripe apricot notes, together with some sharp hints of alcohol. Taste: really sweet taste with a lot of yeasty fruitiness. I'd probably have identified this as aiming for a Belgian style in a blind taste test. The other notable is the hot alcohol notes. Way too strong for an alt, even the reserve sticke type, and it doesn't hit any of the points typical of the style. Not a pleasant drink at all. Puzzling how this one made it into the lineup.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bright clear mahogany with a frothy tan head leaving a quarter inch of foam behind.

S - Bready and caramel malts, candied fruit, toffee, dried fruits.

T - Rich toffee and caramel, multigrain bread, dried fruits, light yeast flavor, nutty with just a touch of booze.

M - Medium body, smooth and creamy with just a bit of alcohol warmth.

D - Stands up to the Uerige versions if not maybe a touch better. Drank this one fairly warm and the complexity really comes out.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a ton of sweet bready malt, dark fruits and caramel with faint citrusy hops and some alcohol as well.

T- The taste like the aroma is a lot of sweet malt with a moderate amount of bitterness in the hops in the finish and a lot of warmth from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation for this beer.

O- Overall, a pretty solid malty beer that would be perfect for a cold winter night in front of the fire.

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Photo of budgood1
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours ut a clear dark crimson colour with a thinnish taupe head and sparse lace. molasses and anise aroma with a dollop of dark rum and brandy. the taste is malt centric, a bit of red ripe fruit, with a burnt sugar overtone and boozy backbone. it has a citric hop note that gets lost quickly in the boozy cauldron of chewy maltiness. it's hot, that's for sure. due to the high ABV, it comes across as full bodied...with a sugary, sticky mouthfeel. drinkability is ok...imperial alt or double alt or sticke alt i'm not sure...all i know is that i've never sampled a version of the alt style such as this so i have nothing to compare or contrast it to.

overall, again sampling a massive beer such as this in the throes of summer heat has a negative impact on overall enjoyment and appreciation. nevertheless i can't find anything wrong with a tasty buzz maker such as this longshot concoction. maybe something to cellar or lay down?? never hurts to experiment methinks!

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Photo of liamt07
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by johnsense on RB, cheers. 12oz into a tulip.

Reddish brown with a beige head. Light film for retention and good lacing. Nose has some toasty malts, dark breads, caramel, toffee and some dates/raisins. More toffee in the flavour, nuts, dark fruits, dark breads and a light bitterness. A touch of alcohol, with a pretty big body. A nice altbier, but not as dry or hoppy as some I've had within the style, quite on the malty side of things.

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Photo of Amalak
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Clear, deep red color to it. Some bubbles. A decent foamy head.

S. Really intense malty some cherry scent.

T. Very thick taste. Cherry. It actually tastes like a Sam Adams with a bit of cherry.

M. Syrupy. Malty. Smooth.

O. It's a good brew. If I had this as a homebrew, I'd be quite happy. Not willing to pay money for it though, as its just solid but nothing special.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Dark cherry cola appearance with vibrant carbonation. A half inch of off white head that has good retention and leaves a frothy layer behind.   Head stays the entire time and leaves sticky lacing behind. 

S:  Sweet dark fruits, cherries, granny smith apples, biscuity  malt, dates, spices, subtle bourbon notes and honey.  Sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cinnamon and sugar aroma arrives once agitated. 

T/M:  Chewy full body and prickly carbonation.  Cherry bourbon is strong followed by earthy and floral hops.  Sweet malts, dark fruits, smoked grains, a touch of banana bread in the background, red delicious apples andgranny smith apples.  Clove, cinnamon and and little dried herbs.  A nice warming sensation from the cherry alcohol and nice bitter balance. Finish is creamy but starts to gradually dry up and leaves a cherry NyQuil after taste with lingering apple peels.

O:  A great beer from a home brewer.  My hats off to this creation. The mixture is complex yet balanced and nothing seems to be overpowering.  The cherry alcohol is an odious front runner but given the ABV it doesn't diminish  the rest of the ingredients. 

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, maple, bourbon, spices, some fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of bourbon, caramel, spices, honey, maple and seems very barleywine-like. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, well-disguised strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid stronger beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of mactrail
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite beautiful orange brown color in the Leffe chalice. Plenty sudsy in the mouth. Decent head.

The licorice flavor is really strong at first sip. Some buttery flavors, then massive amounts of sweet malt. Toffee, dark caramel, and apple butter. Then that fruity weirdness. Ends with a buttery taste and a slight burn of hops. Doesn't taste much of alcohol. Slight sharpness, but more of the mellow malt powerhouse.

A more drinkable, though powerful, style of Altbier. It's just silly to compare this to Alaskan Amber, Grolsch, Long Trail Ale and others that show up in the category. From the 2012 Longshot six pack.

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Photo of philbe311
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A tad more than a finger's worth of slightly creamy light khaki colored head... Solid retention... The color is a light to medium brown... Loaded with sluggish to medium paced carbonation...

S - Lots of malty goodness on the nose... Loaded with caramel... Toffee... Toasted malts... Banana... Some dark fruit notes as well... Light maple syrup... Very appealing...

T - Holy booze batman... This one has a lot more bit than expected... The heat gets you from the get go... It dominates throughout sitting atop a subdued sweetness... Lots of bready malts with intermittent caramel and fruit notes... A bit rough around the edges...

M - Medium to full bodied... Briskly carbonated... A bit sleek... A slightly charred texture as well... The finish is dry as the "booziness" lingers on the tongue...

D - An interesting brew... Excellent appearance and aroma... The taste and mouthfeel were a bit of a let down, but still more then respectable... A bit sweeter and definitely boozier that I'm accustomed to in at Altbier... This one is a bit rough around the edges... None the less, Mr. Hessler deserves credit for his endeavor, one that I very much appreciated...

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You love them or you hate them, but its fun trying all of the longshots. A brown coloured body, it sweet and malty and rich, with a dry finish.Some chocolate malts and a drop of anise.Appropriately carbonated.Decent drinkability.Thats for bringing John.

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Longshot Derf's Secret Alt from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.76 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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